Being smart is not just about having a high I.Q. or getting a doctorate degree. Being truly smart is about having personal qualities that helps us achieve, succeed and rise above life challenges.
My mother dropped out of school in the 8th grade, and although she’s always regretted not completing her education, she is one of the smartest women I know. For the past 30 years, my mother has been an entrepreneur, running a very small coffee shop right in the heart of New York City. With very limited English, she managed to learn all the components and complexities of successfully running a business — from tracking inventory, sales and income, to good marketing. With a warm, friendly smile and good customer services, she wows her loyal customers every single day.
There is something culturally smart about growing up Latina. We are raised smart from early on, a gift that’s passed on from our abuelitas to our mothers, and from our mother’s to us. It is a powerful recipe for life, with resiliency and resourcefulness as main ingredients, seasoned well with commitment and a positive attitude. A recipe we’ll surely pass on to our own girls…
Our goal at New Latina is to celebrate the strengths, talents and lifestyle of today’s Latina women, and share content that fosters personal growth and success. This is why I am extremely proud to be a Latina Smart ambassador. For the next couple of months we will discuss some of the qualities that makes us strong and smart as New Latinas! Follow my #LatinaSmart tweets, videos and blog posts and join in the conversation.
13 Personal Qualities That Make Us Latina Smart: Which One is Your Best?
1. Resourceful. We are problem-solvers, cultural bridges, navigators, spokespersons and always figuring out how to get things done well, quickly and efficiently.
2. Ambitious. We always want more. And why not? We want to be good mothers, loyal friends, caring daughters and we want to be successful at work. We may not sleep much, but we love our full life.
3. Resilient. We rise above, we succeed despite life’s challenges or barrier. We get up when we fall hard, and we keep going when the world tells us to sit down and give up.
4. Confident. We feel good about who we are and how we look. We’re not afraid of being ourselves, and putting ourselves out there.
5. Passionate. We love strong. We work hard. We play well. When we set our minds to do something, we do, and we do it with passion.
6. Bicultural Pride. We’re proud of our heritage, our family and our journey. We embrace all of who we are — Latinas and Americanas — taking the best that each world has to offer.
7. Flexible. In a day, we can go from our work shoes to our stilettos without blinking once. We adjust to what the day throws our way, and we keep our cool.
8. Great at Multitasking. Oh yes, we can cook while helping the kids do homework, while listening to our spouse talk about their day at work, while thinking about our grocery list. It feels crazy at times, but we wouldn’t want to have it any other way…
9. Adventurous. We’re willing to take risks, travel alone, confront the unknown. We’re always ready to take that next plunge.
10. Positive Attitude. During challenging times we keep a positive outlook. We pray or talk to our comadres and friends, to keep ourselves hopeful and positivas.
11. Entrepreneurial Spirit. Language barriers, lack of skills or financial resources can’t stop our undying entrepreneurship spirit. We set up shop in our kitchen table, our living room or en el salon de belleza down the block.
12. Always Seeking Ways to Improve Ourselves, Our Family and Our Community. We have a collective sense of achievement. Personal achievement is never enough. We love giving back to our community and sharing our success with our family and friends.
13. Life-Long Learners. We are always seeking to learn, to be enlightened, and to be wiser. Whether it takes going back to school, reading great books at home, or subscribing to blogs online, we are life-long learners. We value education for life.
So which of these personal qualities makes YOU Latina Smart?